Having been unsuccessful in persuading Arizona to exit from the freeway to ruin, let me turn my attention to a more promising arena: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This tweet neatly encapsulates the tenor of the debate:
"I don't agree with your view of the Israel/Gaza conflict, but I believe you made your argument in good faith."--.No One.— Jeff Greenfield (@greenfield64) July 29, 2014
My intention is not to wade too deeply into the history of this epic tragedy. Others can do it with more authority and/or brio. For example, Juan Cole:
The United States as a great Power is facing a large number of challenges in the Muslim world, and Israel’s Gaza campaign is endangering both American diplomacy there and the very security of the U.S. Given the series of setbacks for the US in the Middle East, in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt, Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu could scarcely have chosen a worst time to kill hundreds of Palestinian civilians in the full light of world media.
Israel has all the proof it needs that world opinion will never consider its right to exist important. The Obama White House, and a lot of the U.S. News Media, portray the Hamas-Israel conflict as something like an amateur soccer match, with the uneven score (40-odd Israeli soldiers killed versus 1000-plus Palestinians, mostly civilians) showing that the contest is unfair, that Israel has “gone too far,” that they have entered the same moral zone as Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, carrying out a “genocide.”
Of course, this is a real hot war, not a diversity training exercise, or a self-esteem course, or any sort of the kindergarten psychotherapy that has come to form the basis of American thought and policy. And a vicious world opinion uses America’s own moral fecklessness the way Hamas uses women and babies to shield its rocket installations.
Instead, my intention is to set the table for discussion, debate and reflection by Rogue's smart commenters with some admittedly broad-brush observations.